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  • Sunday, February 26, 2006

    "'This time last week, we were in the cages at Guantanamo"

    Today's Observer takes a look at "using terror to fight terror":

    Their voices were subdued, but what they said had an almost explosive force. Before their transfer to American custody, they had survived a massacre of prisoners by the Northern Alliance troops of the Afghan warlord General Rashid Dostum, who herded them and hundreds of others into sealed truck containers in which dozens suffocated and were (much later) found by US investigators in a mass grave. The first English-speaking prisoners to be freed from Guantanamo, they told of abusive interrogation sessions, of worthless false 'confessions' and frequent beatings by an 'immediate reaction force' of guards.

    In the days after the story's publication, government agencies on both sides of the Atlantic did what they could to neutralise its influence. In the US, Pentagon spokesmen told reporters that the Tipton Three's claims were simply untrue.

    According to Steve Rodriguez, Guantanamo's chief interrogator, he and his staff had gathered intelligence so valuable that, 'We have been able as a result of information gained here to take operational actions, even military campaigns.' As the New York Times dutifully recorded, he emphatically denied 'the specific allegations of mistreatment made by prisoners recently returned to Britain'. Less than three months later, internal US administration memos confirmed that the treatment described by the three men corresponded exactly to official Pentagon policy.

    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts


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